Can’t stop lovin’ Elvis as fans celebrate his 80th birthday
IT DID not seem like the King had left the building when Sunshine Coast Elvis fanatic Rebecca Grisman gathered at the historic Graceland Mansion to celebrate the late king of rock 'n' roll's 80th birthday.
Impersonators of all shapes and sizes made the pilgrimage to Elvis Presley's home in Memphis this week, paying tribute to the music star who died in 1977 at the age of 42.
"[There was] everything from the early Elvis to the fat Elvis," Ms Grisman said from the scene.
"People wore bedazzled costumes and capes like
Elvis's '70s-style capes and gear.
"There was one guy who had the sideburns and the big quiff and he would have only been in his 20s and he looked so much like him."
For a lifelong Elvis fan like Ms Grisman, the trip to Memphis was a pilgrimage a long time in the making.
She tried to visit Graceland in 2005 only to be waylaid by Hurricane Katrina.
"It's definitely something to tick off the bucket list," she said.
The trip taught her that the world was full of people even more devoted to the American music sensation than she will ever be.
"I've got a dog called Elvis but there were a lot of people more dedicated to it than I am," she said.
"Diehard Elvis fans are freaks, so there was a lot of people dressed up."
Ms Grisman convinced good friend and fellow Coaster Bill Darby to make the pilgrimage with her as hundreds braved cold conditions to celebrate Presley's birthday on Thursday.
Presley's former wife Priscilla and daughter Lisa Marie sliced an eight-tier birthday cake frozen by the chilly conditions in Memphis.